Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Songoftheday 7/13/16 - I can't remember anything can't tell if this is true or dream, deep down inside I feel to scream this terrible silence stops me...


"One" - Metallica
from the album ...And Justice For All (1988)
Billboard Hot 100 peak: #35 (one week)
Weeks in the Top-40: 4

Today's song of the day comes from the thrash-metal band Metallica, who came together in Los Angeles in the early 80s, with lead singer James Hetfield and drummer Lars Ulrich recruiting guitarist Dave Mustaine and eventually bassist Cliff Burton. That lineup set out to record their debut album, Kill 'Em All, to this day a standard in the genre (a song from the set, "Jump In The Fire", would eventually reach the New Zealand singles chart at #30 in 1990). However, before that happened, drug addicted Mustaine was booted from the group, to be replaced by Kirk Hammett. Next came Ride The Lightning, which made it to the top half of Billboard's 200-spot albums sales chart. On the strength of those two independently released records, Metallica was signed to Elektra (home to Carly Simon, Anita Baker, and the Cars, and put out their third effort, Master of Puppets, in 1986. That set would reach the albums top-40 in America, and went on to sell almost five million copies. But touring for the album proved tragic as a bus accident caused the death of Cliff Burton in the fall of that year. Hiring Jason Newsted to take Cliff's place, they first released the $5.98 EP: Garage Days Re-Revisited, a covers collection, in 1987.

That leads to the year after, when the band including Newsted recorded their fourth studio album ...And Justice For All. Fine-tuning there frantic style including lightning-quick guitar riffs, the single "Harvester Of Sorrow" got them major exposure in Great Britain, landing the at #20 on the British singles charts. But their real breakthrough to a mainstream audience came with the third release from the album, "One". Written by Hetfield with Ulrich, and produced by the band with Fleming Rasmussen (like Ulrich, a Danish native), the pacifist rocker got its exposure to the teens with its video on MTV, which included clips from the movie Johnny Get Your Gun, which featured a badly wounded warrior in a hospital wishing to be exhibited as a case against war, and then eventually to end his life, neither of which would come to pass, sadly...


"One" became Metallica's first top-40 pop hit in the U.S. in April of 1989. I'm telling you, it was really something hearing Casey Kasem introduce this almost demonically paced piece of music for a whole month. It actually did better there than on Billboard's Mainstream Rock radio chart, where it peaked at #46. Internationally, the song went to #13 in the UK, #5 in Australia, #3 in the Netherlands and Sweden, #4 in Norway, and #1 in Finland. It would go on to avenge the album losing the first Hard rock/metal Grammy Award to none other than Jethro Tull by nabbing the metal-only trophy in 1990.

(Click below to see the rest of the post)


Here's the alternate "Jammin' Version" of the video, which eliminated the film clips...


....and the band on tour in 1989 behind the album...


...and at the Grammy Awards that year, where they notoriously lost the award right after this performance...


In 1999, the band took the song in an orchestral direction for their S&M opus with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra...


Metallica brought "One" back to the Grammys in 2014 with classical pianist Lang Lang...


Lastly, here's the band on tour earlier this year in San Francisco, where they started recording...


Up tomorrow: A man blown away from the Windy City duets with possibly the last living singer?

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